tv Secretary of State John Kerry Delivers Statement on Syria CSPAN December 16, 2016 12:16am-12:36am EST
caliphate and the hub for external attack. after helping capable and series forces we enabled them another forces to retake shiitake, denying isil control over those areas and cutting off their primary lines of communication into turkey and iraq. we are now helping our local partners isolate raqqa from which there's only 15 miles away. isolation face continues according to our plan where generating additional local forces necessary to seize and hold raqqa. in addition to taking back territory were yielding results and if denying isil the finances, supplies, freedom of movement command-and-control it needs to survive.
if systematically targeted their oil wells, trucks for smuggling the oil, revenue repositories. we deliberately focused on the isil controls and syria from the territory of controls in iraq. leaders of the terrorist group can no longer travel between raqqa emotional without the risk of being hunted down our expeditionary targeting force or struck from the air. in fact, since we began accelerating the campaign we have killed some of isil's most senior leaders. while these results are encouraging, we have to stay focused on the continued execution of this plan. the inevitable collapse of the control over most one rock over certainly put isil on a path to lasting defeat. there'll be be much more to do after that.
to make sure that i once defeated isil stays defeated. we'll need to to continue to counter form fighters trying to escape and isil's attempt to relocate or reinvent itself. to do so not only the united states but our coalition must endure and remain militarily engaged. in iraq in particular it will be necessary for the coalition to provide sustained assistance and carry on our work to train, equip, and support and support local police, border guards another forces to hold areas cleared of isil. beyond security, there are still be trounced to rebuild, services to reestablish and communities to restore. those are not military matters but there part of how after winning the battle one wins the piece. that's why my principal concern that this juncture is international community stabilization and governments
efforts lagging behind the military campaign. there also need to be continue political support for an inclusive iraq. in her region with secretariats and the threat of isil has brought people together for now against the common and. that's really true in iraq thanks to the unity and leadership of prime minister a body cooperation between the iraqi security forces in the kurdish fishmarket in the battle to retake most has racial level that would've been unthinkable a year ago. we are taken steps to help promote and maintain the unity. we know that's the only way to keep isil defeated. as i said earlier, success in in iraq and syria is necessary but
not efficient to deal a lasting defeat and that's why were focused on two other critical objectives of our campaign. combating them around the world and helping protect her homeland. when it comes to combating the metastases, we've taken strong actions in support of capable and local forces in libya and afghanistan and elsewhere. libya u.s. military has provided air support and forced to isolate and clap their control. as a result isil is being ejected. in afghanistan on chairman don person my recommendation the president this year gave expanded authorities to u.s. forces to proactively assist and enable our afghan partners and operations that would have strategic effects. we also the decided to modify our plan to look at 8400 u.s. to
retain u.s. troops there rather than 5500 as the earlier plan had called for. we will continue to maintain our financial commitment to the afghan defense and security forces. these robust commitments and authorities in forces and finances will ensure we not only continue supporting the afghan security forces would also sustain our regional counterterrorism platform. operated out of afghanistan. for example, alongside the afghan partners we recently conducted to large's gail against isil and afghanistan. killing the top leader in the country and significantly degrading capabilities there. on the campaign's third objective of protecting the homeland to your days working with intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement partners at
home. and supporting them his job and priority number one. but also abroad. there we are are conducting operations together intelligence with a particular importance of destroying their external operations cadre. we have not only killed the chief of isil's external operations but taken out more than 130 external plotters. we have gone after their branch in syria, we with the fbi to systematically eliminate members of a cell outside the united states that was inspiring attacks in our country. and including against our armed forces. we directed the joint special operations command to make that top top priority of destroying isil's capabilities. the campaign against ice and the results are an example of the
military's continued excellence and america's continued leadership in the middle east and world. no other nation could have brought to bear the resources we have. assemble the coalition we have built, led the execution of a comprehensive campaign that the united states has done. we did so in pursuit of our nation's interests. which in this case are lined with many allies and partners who are also result to dissolve isil. we did so despite major, simultaneous and growing military commitments in europe and asia. let me turn to them. first i want to discuss your. with the transatlantic -- that's a big change for many of us who worked with russia and the post-cold war era. i know i did the 1990s when we are working with sometimes are
common rather than cross purposes. at the time militaries cooperated as part of -- and when russia agreed to join the peacekeeping kosovo i remember both. today, unfortunately russia's aggression and provocation appear to be driven by misguided ambitions and misplaced resentment. russia wants to be considered and understandably so is the important power that it is. indeed its history is rich and its people cannot should be proud. in recent years some have interpreted that history and provocative destabilizing action. we see that in russia's a aggression in ukraine and georgia. it's counterproductive role in the ongoing tragedy in syria,
its attacks in cyberspace, it's violation of arms control treaties and other international agreements and above all its nuclear -- these actions are not what the world expects. rather each threatens to undermine global security aneroid the principal order that it's been so good not only to the united states but to russia and the rest of the world. let me be clear, the united states does not take a cold let alone hot war with russia. we do not seek an enemy. but make no mistake we will defend her allies in the positive future beef that affords all of us. we will will counter attempts to undermine our collective security. to do so the united states is following a strong imbalance
strategy. we are addressing russia's action while pursuing in pursuing bilateral cooperation where u.s. and russian objectives can be aligned. this strategy for deterrence doesn't simply recycle the playbook used to deter syria during the cold war because that would not match the russian challenge of today. we haven't had to prioritize deterrence on the eastern flight for over 20 years. and unfortunately, now we do. that's why the united states is strengthening our posture so that we can respond to threats that russia might pose. our latest defense budget request asked for more money, more than quadruple what we allocated the year before. that's intended to allow us to
an addition to the two brigades we have stationed in europe, rotate an armored brigade combat team on a persistent basis and pre-position brigades equipment and were fighting gear to be used by american forces flown into europe, among other other steps. increasing military exercises with allies and partners to demonstrate resolve and build the resilience while enhancing operability. updating and confining our plans and trying to overcome areas such as. [inaudible] were investing the technologies most relevant to countering russia. are also recapitalizing our nuclear deterrent nuclear deterrence is not only the bedrock but our security and also critical to sustain inlet of russia's nuclear --.
the united states is not alone. for more than 67 years nato has been the quintessential example of nations coming together to respond to collective security challenges. as it did during the cold war data will be critical for preserving critical defense in the face of new threats. to ensure it it does so were working with allies to adapt and to confront the new challenges nato faces like russia. so nato two has a new playbook. when that prepares to counter cyber threats and hybrid warfare, to better integrate conventional nuclear deterrence and much more. that's why nato created a joint task force that can deploy task force on 48 hours notice to any crisis on allied territory. it's why nato is deploying forward battalions to us eastern --.
the united states will lead a battalion starting next year. it's why nato is providing support to countries like ukraine and georgia to help strengthen and reform their national defense and institutions and improve their ability to work with nato. everything united states is doing on its own and with nato will ensure we continue to stand up to russian aggression and that were ready for longer-term competition. it's also necessary to keep the door open to working with russia. as i said there's a time in the years after the cold war were russia corporate it and contributed to the principal order rather than undermining it. i remember that personally and many of you. perhaps someday someday we'll see that rekindled. . .
been managed by th the regionwie formal structure like nato and europe. that made sense because of the history, geography and politics. instead of the united states has taken a principled and inclusive approach and collaborated with a network of regional allies and partners to enable principles ensuring the countries can make choices free from coercion and intimidation and preserving the freedom guaranteed by international law. because we did so economic miracle left or economic miracle occurred. first japan and taiwan, south korea and southeast asia and now
today, china, india rose and prospered. populations are growing, educationeducations improved, self-determination has spread, economies have grown more interconnected and military spending and cooperation are both increasing. america's interests and objectives in the asia-pacific have endured. we still want peace, stability and progress for all because the region has changed how we meet those had to change along with it. they've been operationalizing one after another we are not only ensuring that we remain the strongest military and primary provider but we are also connecting our allies and
partners in a principle of the security network to allow all of us to see more come share more and do more to maintain security in the region. in the first phase which began five years ago they sought to make the regional posture more robust both on our allies, our own parts and partners geographically distributed, politically sustainable. they spend tens of thousands, committed to 60% in the asia-pacific anasiapacific and e the posture. the second phase we committed to sending some of our best people and most advanced capabilities. our newest aircraft and service
vessels to the asia-pacific we also developed new and innovative strategies and concepts and put them into use in more complex exercises on our own and with our partners none larger than this. we have strengthened our bilateral alliances and partnerships. we've now strengthened these relationships so they better reflect the social security needs. there are so many examples. whether it is our long-time alliances or newer partnerships like those in singapore, vietnam but for time's sake i will focus on the two i'm leaving tomorrow to visit mainly japan and india.
the us-japan alliance remains the cornerstone of the pacific security and with our new defense guidelines the alliance has never been stronger or more capable of contributing to security in the asia-pacific and beyond. likewise, it's the closest it's ever been. through our strategic handshake with america reaching last in the rebalance in the east in the policy the two nations are exercising together by air, land and sea and we have the technological handshake as the trade initiative grasps hands in the campaign that's helping the country move towards a more diverse development and